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Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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London: English cricket bosses have insisted they do not want to spark a row with their Indian counterparts after nominating Mike Denness as a Test match referee

Former England captain Denness imposed penalties on six Indian players, including national hero Sachin Tendulkar, following an India Test in South Africa last year. The ensuing controversy almost led to the cancellation of England's subsequent tour of India. "We have nominated Mike Denness, among others," England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spokesman John Read was reported by the 'Sun' newspaper on Wednesday as saying. "This is for no other reason than that we believe he is a good match referee who will do a good job," Read added. "We are not trying to precipitate a stand-off with India or any other country. And we certainly won't get precious about this - we'll abide by any referee nominated by the ICC (International Cricket Council). "I accept some people might regard the nomination of Mike Denness as inflammatory - but that's not why we nominated him. We think he is a good match referee. I'm sure India will be nominating referees of their own." Former Sri Lanka captain Ranjan Madugalle is incharge of selecting the slimmed-down five-man panel, which is due to oversee all Tests in future. But Scotsman Denness, 63, may be left out on age grounds alone.

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